Collecting memories

By Gerry Lewis | Published Wednesday, June 18, 2014

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I once had a great collection of cheesy souvenir coffee mugs from every place I vacationed. The more it screamed, “I am cheap, but I have the name of this place in big, bright letters,” the higher its chances of making my collection.

Then I got married.

Mrs. Sweetie ever-so-sweetly began suggesting that my collection was not consistent with the home d cor atmosphere we were trying to create. I didn’t know we were trying to create one, but I was smart enough to know what kind of happy wife atmosphere I wanted to live in so my collection went to my office.

If she had known what she was getting into, she might have gone with the mug collection. I sold one of my old guitars about a month ago, so I am down to five guitars, two mandolins, a ukulele, and an accordion. Our living room has a spinet piano and a baby grand. I came home yesterday with an antique upright piano that I bought on eBay for $1.

You read that right: one crisp George Washington. OK, it was eBay, so it was an electronic transaction and they only got 67 cents, but you get the picture. I got a beautiful antique piano for a dollar! It’s in terrible playing condition, but it will never be played. I am going to use it to make a custom desk for my man cave/home studio.

And I got it for a dollar!

Of course, there were a few dollars added to get it here. I had to drive to Shreveport, La., to pick it up. So that added a tank of gas in the truck. I had to wait until after work to go, so that added a night in a hotel. And it was in Shreveport, so it added a big seafood meal at Ralph and Kacoo’s.

I needed help loading it, so that required that I take a strong person with me, feed him said seafood meal and pay him a little something for helping me out. For the several hundred dollars I spent on the trip, I probably could have found one closer to home.

So, how expensive was that piano? A dollar! All the other dollars were associated with my most treasured collection: my memory collection. The person I took with me, a recent college graduate, grew up in my church. I have been a part of his life since he was in elementary school, and he is like another son to me. I couldn’t put a price tag on the shared experience of those 23 hours.

Our lives matter so much to God that He lets us share the journey with friends. Ecclesiastes 4:10 says, “If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”

No matter how the desk turns out, it was a dollar well spent.

Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association headquartered in Decatur.

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